Xfinity vs. CenturyLink Internet Review

When it comes to picking between Xfinity and CenturyLink, we definitely prefer Xfinity, and here’s why

Prices
$19.99-$120
Download Speeds
75-2000 Mbps
Data Cap Max
1200 Mbps
Prices
$50-$75
Download Speeds
100-940 Mbps
Upload Speed Max
940 Mbps
Brianne Sandorf
May 30, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

If you’re moving, your internet price just increased, or you’re not getting the Wi-Fi speeds you want, it’s time to look for a new internet service provider (ISP).

If Xfinity and CenturyLink are two of the providers available for your address, you might wonder how they compare. Well, wonder no longer! We strongly encourage you to go with Xfinity if you can.

Let’s talk about why we prefer Xfinity to CenturyLink in most cases—but in the meantime, double-check to make sure these internet provider services are available where you live.

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Xfinity prices and plans

Plan
Price
Download speed
Connection type
Details
Connect$19.99/mo for 12 mo w/1 yr contract.*Up to 150 MbpsCable
Connect More$30/mo for 24 mo.Up to 300 MbpsCable
Fast$50/mo for 24 mo.Up to 500 MbpsCable
Superfast$60/mo for 24 mo.Up to 800 MbpsCable
Gigabit$65/mo.Up to 2000 MbpsCable
Gigabit Extra$70/mo for 24 mo.Up to 2000 MbpsCable
* For 12 months with 1-year term contract. Taxes and equipment not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Prices may vary by location.
For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Prices may vary by location.
For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Not available in all areas. Prices may vary by location.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Prices

Winner: Xfinity

We’re giving this one to Xfinity, as it starts at a lower price and has more price and plan options. It’s also available in more states. So if you move or your internet needs change, you may be able to keep Xfinity as your ISP, which is helpful for long-term financial planning. However, the contracts, data cap, and post-promo price hikes are a downside to this service.

Xfinity did extend its data cap over the last few years. Now you can stream up to 1.2 TB a month with some Xfinity plans, while others offer unlimited data.

You can get out of an Xfinity contract—if you’re willing to pay $10 more a month. It’s not the most cost-effective solution for customers, but paying extra to go month-to-month might save you money in the long run should you need to end service early.

Most Xfinity plans use cable connections, which means you can get speeds reaching a pretty fast clip. If you want something even faster, you

Xfinity internet prices and plans
Plan
Price
Download speed
Connection type
Details
Connect$19.99/mo for 12 mo w/1 yr contract.*Up to 150 MbpsCable
Connect More$30/mo for 24 mo.Up to 300 MbpsCable
Fast$50/mo for 24 mo.Up to 500 MbpsCable
Superfast$60/mo for 24 mo.Up to 800 MbpsCable
Gigabit$65/mo.Up to 2000 MbpsCable
Gigabit Extra$70/mo for 24 mo.Up to 2000 MbpsCable
* For 12 months with 1-year term contract. Taxes and equipment not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Prices may vary by location.
For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Prices may vary by location.
For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Not available in all areas. Prices may vary by location.

On the other hand, CenturyLink starts at a higher cost, has only two price/plan options, and serves fewer states. The lack of contracts or data cap almost makes up for these limitations, but not quite. It's possible that CenturyLink can’t accommodate you moving to a different state or needing to change your internet plan. You may find yourself left high and dry and hunting for a new service.

The Simply Unlimited Internet (again, no data caps!) seems like a good deal at first, but it’s a DSL service, meaning it runs on the slow side.

The CenturyLink Fiber internet plan is a much better option for reliable speed but is also more expensive. Oof.

CenturyLink prices and plans
Name
Price
Download speed
Connection type
Details
Simply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps$55/mo.^Up to 100 MbpsDSL
CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$75/mo.°Up to 940 MbpsFiber
^ Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
° Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer details. Offer includes professional installation at customer’s eligible location

Both ISPs offer router rental options, but it raises your monthly bill if you go that route (get it?). If you want to avoid those costs, here’s how to use your own router with Xfinity, and here’s how to choose an Xfinity-compatible router.

Happily, the routers from both Xfinity and CenturyLink are also modems, so you don’t have to worry about a second piece of equipment.

Xfinity TV + Internet bundle deal
Deals

Get 300Mbps internet and live TV for $75/month for 24 months, including a free Voice Remote and DVR with over 125 channels.

Bundles

If you want a side of TV with your home internet, you’ve come to the right place. Both of these internet service providers offer TV and internet bundles. Xfinity has its own TV service (Xfinity TV), while CenturyLink partners with DIRECTV. Or, if you want a side of mobile with your home internet, Xfinity is offering a free Unlimited Intro mobile plan for two years when you switch to an Xfinity Fast plan.

Just know that bundling up television service with your internet provider may not save you money. In some cases, separately buying the two services—or even investing in a completely different TV option altogether—makes more sense.

For instance, Xfinity may have faster internet speeds than CenturyLink, but its cable TV has far fewer channels than DIRECTV. If options matter to you, stick with Netflix or try another cable provider rather than getting an Xfinity bundle.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Internet speed and data caps

Winner: Both

In our fastest ISPs report, Xfinity ties with Cox Internet for the fastest internet, while CenturyLink doesn’t make the top seven. But CenturyLink doesn’t have a data cap, which is hugely appealing for those with a lot happening online. It also has a better upload speed range (which is great for YouTubers).

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink download speed comparison
Provider
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Learn more
Xfinity Internet75-2000 Mbps10-35 Mbps
CenturyLink Internet100-940 Mbps10-940 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Internet speed often depends on connection type, and in this case, type probably does account for much of the speed differences between Xfinity and CenturyLink.

Xfinity’s plans mainly use cable internet, which is pretty fast. CenturyLink uses both DSL (very slow) and fiber (very fast), which averages to be, well, average.

While we urge potential CenturyLink customers to skip CenturyLink’s DSL plan and go for the fiber, that sadly increases your internet bill. So we don’t blame you if you favor Xfinity cable speeds and prices.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Data caps

Over the years, Xfinity has generously extended its data cap for some plans and locations to 1.2TB (1,200 MB). According to our friends at HSI, 1.2TB gets you (among other things) over 150 hours of 4K streaming a month. For most of us, that’s just fine—but if your habit is to get home from work and binge until bedtime, you can max out fairly quickly. You either need no data cap or to stream in 1080p (but we understand that for some cinephiles, that would be a visual tragedy).

Xfinity’s data usage policy goes like this: You receive a courtesy month of extra data once every 12 months. If you go over your data allotment twice in a 12-month period, you have to pay for the second (and third, fourth, etc.) month at a rate of $10 per 50GB, up to $100.

Xfinity also offers unlimited data for certain plans and locations. If you’re curious what kinds of plans Xfinity offers where you live, our ZIP internet finder is a great way to start.

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See what Xfinity internet plans are offered in your location.

CenturyLink has no data caps at all, which is handy. You can stream 4K all day, every day if that’s your style.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Customer service

Winner: Xfinity

We pull our internet customer service ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. This organization measures how happy Americans are with the customer service they receive across various sectors.

According to ACSI, Xfinity has a better customer service rating at 66 versus CenturyLink’s 60.

What does this mean? The top internet ACSI score is 72 (Verizon Fios), putting Xfinity close-ish to having one of the best ISP scores. But the best possible ACSI score is 100, which means internet service providers tend to underperform in the customer service arena in general.

Xfinity is even part of Comcast, which has famously bad customer service. So it’s a shock that CenturyLink is somehow worse.

But don’t despair! We have a few customer service tips to get the most out of your calls with any ISP’s representatives.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Which is better?

Xfinity Internet
Xfinity
Xfinity Internet
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starting from
$19.99
/mo
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

In the Xfinity vs. CenturyLink matchup, Xfinity definitely wins.

But depending on location or your data cap needs, you might want to go with CenturyLink instead.

  • Price: Xfinity. Xfinity starts cheaper, is more widely available, and offers three times as many plan options as CenturyLink.
  • Internet speed: Both. Xfinity is faster, but CenturyLink has no data caps.
  • Data caps: CenturyLink. While Xfinity’s data cap situation isn’t bad, CenturyLink doesn’t cap you in any way, shape, or form. Boo-yah.
  • Customer service: Xfinity. Surprisingly, the ACSI rates Xfinity Comcast’s customer service higher than CenturyLink’s.

Runner-up: CenturyLink

CenturyLink Internet
Centurylink
CenturyLink Internet
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starting from
$50
/mo
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Methodology

How do we objectively compare two internet providers?

Luckily, internet service is measured in numbers: Prices, data caps, projected upload and download speeds, and actual upload and download speeds.

We spend a lot of time gathering this data and then crunching it to see what’s objectively, numerically better.

As for customer service, we have a reliable source that takes the qualifiable and put it into quantifiable: the ACSI. Armed with this score, we can compare two customer services without our own biases taking over.

After going through this process, we found that generally, Xfinity is a better service for most people than CenturyLink.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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